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How to deal with sore sums and prevent them in the future.

At some point in our lives we will all experience some form of inflammation or pain. There is nothing more annoying than when this pain and inflammation comes from your mouth, a site that is vulnerable to further irritation by essential every day activities such as eating and brushing. If you’re experiencing gum pain look through the following list consider your own habits, what is likely to be the cause for you?

Causes and solutions for sore gums

  • Gingivitis: otherwise known as gum inflammation- the most common form is plaque induced gingivitis, a preventable condition. Once it has emerged it is best to act quickly to prevent it from spiralling, a hygienist visit is required in order to get you and your gums back on track, that’s why regular hygienist and dental appointments are essential- to spot and treat any gum issues before symptoms and pain present. Maintaining a good oral hygiene regime will also reduce your chances of gingivitis occurring.


  • Other forms of gum disease: Gum disease can result in loss of bone support around the teeth which can lead to tooth movement and loose teeth- altering the way partial dentures fit and the way we bite together- which can cause stress and trauma to the gums. Gum disease can also lead to deep pockets between the teeth and gums, gum recession, red, swollen and tender gums.

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  • Tooth decay: the pain of a cavity can often radiated sensations of pain to surrounding areas such as the gum, especially if it results in a tooth abscess which can result in painful swollen gums.


  • Hormonal changes: for example pregnancy, yours gums are often the first indicator of hormonal changes or any change in the body. During puberty there is more blood flow in your gums which may cause them to feel swollen and sore.


  • Brushing and flossing too harshly: this can be down to the technique of your brushing and flossing or the type of floss/tooth brush that you use. Traumatic brushing is one of the main causes of gum recession and trauma, alongside causing enamel wear and tooth sensitivity- if you are unsure if your technique is any good- bring your tooth brush to your hygiene or dental appointment and we can guide you in the right direction. Here you can also get guidance as to which is the best interdental cleaning option for you- to avoid traumatising the gum.


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  • Malnutrition: the gums can not only reflect the health of your mouth but of your whole body. If you are deficient in certain nutrients or vitamins such as vitamin D it can impact the gums.


  • Poorly fitting dental appliances: such as a retainer, dentures and anti-grinding devices. If you are not happy with the fit of any of your dental appliances do not hesitate to contact us and book in for a dental appointment. These devices are here to improve your smile and mouth- not to cause you more bother.


  • Oral Cancer: this may present as a sore in the mouth that won’t heal. They do not always present with pain but if you have a sore/ulcer that doesn’t heal within 2 weeks- book in an appointment as soon as you can!


Ways to manage the pain of sore gums and prevent recurrence

  • Book in to see your dentist: They’ll be able to put your mind at ease by providing you with a professional diagnosis and a treatment plan/referral to manage and hopefully relieve your sore gums. They may advise a hygiene appointment, both your dentist and hygienist will instruct you on your home routine and give your both diet and prevention tips.


  • Eat something cold such as ice cubes: cold grapes and cold water. This will temporarily help reduce inflammation and swelling.


  • Maintain a varied and healthy diet: eat as many bright and nutrient dense foods as you can in order to prevent deficiencies.

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  • Take an anti-inflammatory: This will reduce swelling and signs of inflammation. Remember to adhere to any guidelines the medication comes with and have adult supervision when required.


  • Practice good oral hygiene: your sore gums could be due to gingivitis- a preventable disease caused by poor oral hygiene. Seek advice from your dentist or hygienist that is tailored to your individual needs. You may require a tooth paste that is free from Sodium Lauryl Sulphate which can irritate sensitive gums. You may need to invest in a new toothbrush with soft bristles such as a Sensodyne brush or the ‘sensitive’ tooth brush head for your Oral B electric brush, remember to replace it every 3 months. Ensure you are cleaning interdentally at least once a day.


Sore gums can a big inconvenience however once your dentist has clarified the cause, relief from the pain is often achievable and you can get on with everyday activities such as eating and brushing as you were before.


For more information on sore gums and the prevention of sore gums, or to make an appointment contact Stafford Street Dental on 0131 225 7576.



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